Next Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn into office as the nation’s 45th president. The next day, up to a quarter million women from all over the country are expected to rally outside the U.S Capitol.
So far, about 9,000 people from Massachusetts have signed up to make the trip to attend the Women’s March on Washington.
At a dining table in Acton, Nicole LaGuerre and Tami Gouveia are making plans to help all those people get to Washington, D.C. They are the co-chairs of the effort to get Massachusetts women to make the trip. “It’s going to be an unprecedented gathering of 200,000 people. It’s expected to be the largest march after an inauguration of a new president, and it’s to have women’s voices heard on all kinds of issues,” explained Gouveia.
Some people have told them they will be marching so their daughters will have the same rights they have taken for granted. Another wrote she is marking all women in humanity.
The idea of the march blew up on the internet right after Trump won the election.
Gouveia explained, “Folks were feeling pretty devastated about the election results. We went into the election thinking Hillary was going to win because of the polls.
LaGuerre added, “Trump made the situation that we are in a lot worse by how behaved, and how he told young me and boys, and even girls, what he told this is OK. And it’s not OK. So, the message to him, if he does pay attention, is we are here and we are going to keep fighting.”
As these women deal with logistics and ordering sweatshirts, T-shirts, and buttons, they believe in the end this rally will be much bigger than just a response to Donald Trump’s victory, and concerns about his record on women’s issues.
“It would have been great if Hillary won, but I don’t think the ultimate glass ceiling would have been shattered. I think that for a lot of people it would have ‘Oh, good now that we have here there we can stop’, and in a sense maybe it’s great this happened because now we don’t have to stop,” said LaGuerre.
Gouveia added, “Would we rather be celebrating than fighting misogyny and racism, absolutely! But I think the fact that things sort of worked out the they did we are saying there isn’t time to be wistful. Now is the time to act.”
LaGuerre and Gouveia will be ride one of the many busses making the 400 plus mile trip down Rt. 95. They will be sleeping in a church in Fairfax, VA. They know this is a one day event, but hope it will become a catalyst for a new age of activism.
“I want you to be energized, yes, but I also want you to be angry. Angry enough that when you walk out of there, it’s not, ‘Yea, I did this march’. It’s more like, this is the beginning of change, and we are going to continue this change, “said Laguerre.
For Gouveia, her hope for the march is pretty simple. “We don’t want to go back to the 1950s, and that’s what this new administration does represent. It’s Make America Great Again, and what that means to a lot of people is, let’s back to the way things used to be. So, for many of us, the way things used to be were not good.”
There are rallies scheduled in 30 counties and in cities all across the United States, including on the Boston Common. These are for women who might not be able to make it to Washington, D.C., but still want their voices heard.
To learn more about the Women’s March on Washington and rallies in New England, go to www.womensmarch.com.